“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46).
The annual Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13, the third Sunday of Advent. The theme, “Rejoice: The Lord Has Done Great Things,” is inspired by Luke 1:46-49, the opening verses of Mary’s “Magnificat.”
The special emphasis also includes worship resources as well as a biblical study of the theme scripture. Resources may be downloaded free of charge from www.brethren.org/adventoffering .
The biblical exegesis for Luke 1:46-49 was written by Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, and a staff member of Congregational Life Ministries.
Other worship resources include a communion service tailored to that Sunday in Advent, along with a call to worship, prayers, hymn suggestions, a children’s sermon and a children’s activity sheet, offering invitation and prayer, a benediction, and more, all written by Matt DeBall and Cherise Glunz of the denomination’s Donor Relations staff.
Following is an excerpt from the children’s sermon, available in full at www.brethren.org/offerings/advent/documents/2015/childrens-sermon-cherise-glunz.pdf:
“This is a magnifying glass. We know that magnifying glasses were created to make objects appear bigger and easier to see. When we hold this magnifying glass over a Christmas light or even your hand, it makes it clearer to see and we can see it in better detail. In our Bible verse today, we hear Mary say: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” ... When we bring praise to God like Mary, we are like this magnifying glass--showing the world even the smallest details of how great God truly is!”